Sumary of No link between moderate coffee consumption and increased risk of cardiac arrhythmia, researchers find:
- “Coffee is the primary source of caffeine for most people, and it has a reputation for causing or exacerbating arrhythmias,” said senior and corresponding author Gregory Marcus, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at UCSF.
- “But we found no evidence that caffeine consumption leads to a greater risk of arrhythmias,” said Marcus, who specializes in the treatment of arrhythmias.
- “Our population-based study provides reassurance that common prohibitions against caffeine to reduce arrhythmia risk are likely unwarranted.
- ” While some professional societies suggest avoiding caffeinated products to lower the risk for arrhythmia, this connection has not been consistently demonstrated — indeed, coffee consumption may have anti-inflammatory benefits and is associated with reduced risks of some illnesses including cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson disease.
- In the new study, UCSF scientists explored whether habitual coffee intake was associated with a risk of arrhythmia, and whether genetic variants that affect caffeine metabolism could modify that association.
- Their investigation was conducted via the community-based UK Biobank, a prospective study of participants in England’s National Health Services.
- As those with the genetic variants associated with faster caffeine metabolism drank more coffee, this analysis provided a method to test the caffeine-arrhythmia relationship in a way that did not rely on participant self-report and should have been immune to much of the confounding inherent to most observational studies.
- No evidence of a heightened risk of arrhythmias was observed among those genetically predisposed to metabolize caffeine differently.